Wildlife parks and reserves are spread all over Tanzania; on the map, you'll find information about four of the best-known – the Serengeti, Selous, Kitulo and Gombe Stream national parks. You can also discover more about other amazing natural features such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater and the two great lakes of Victoria and Tanganyika, as well as important cultural and social centres like Zanzibar, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam.

Poverty

Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Zambia Map

Explore Zambia

Find out about some key places in Zambia, such as Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Rwanda map

Explore Rwanda

Discover some of Rwanda’s key attractions, cities and places of interest. Kigali is the capital city and is currently undergoing a lot of redevelopment. Rwanda boasts some amazing wildlife reserves including the Volcanoes National Park. Here you can see mountain gorillas among many other animals.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is Tanzania’s most well-known wildlife area. From its 1.5 million hectares of savannah, over 2 million animals begin their long migration north to Kenya’s Maasai Mara region, including vast herds of wildebeest. Other mammals include zebras, giraffes, gazelles, elands and impalas. And of course, there are plenty of predators, including lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas. Visitors can take balloon trips to see the plains from up high and visit cultural centres of the Maasai tribe nearby.

Malawi map

Explore Malawi

Discover some of Malawi’s most important places and features, such as Lake Malawi, which runs almost the entire length of the country.

Climate

Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Selous Game Reserve

This huge reserve (50,000 square kilometres) is among the largest protected areas in Africa. For safari lovers, it's a not-to-be-missed destination, with large populations of elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, hippo, buffalo and crocodiles. The reserve is also home to endangered species such as black rhinos (Diceros bicornis) and the wild hunting dog (Lycaon pictus). Its undisturbed Miombo woodlands constitute one of the most important areas of this vegetation in the world.

Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is the largest city (with a population over 3.3 million people) and the country’s capital in all but name. It is the main trading centre, acting as a hub for goods from across the region and as Africa’s second-largest port. With its busy industry and bustling streets, to enjoy the promise of the city's name (‘Haven of Peace’), visitors need to head to the beaches and islands within easy reach to the north and south.

Gombe Stream National Park

This small park is a must-see for anyone interested in great apes. Gombe is home to one of the longest-running primate studies in the world; Jane Goodall arrived here in 1960 to research the area's chimpanzees. Used to being watched, visitors can often get within 5 metres of chimp groups. As chimpanzees (and other primates) are declining in numbers because of deforestation, Gombe Park is a vital refuge for an animal which is our closest living relative.

Dodoma

Dodoma lies in the geographical centre of the country. It is the official capital of Tanzania and its seat of government. Located on the old caravan route which linked Lake Tanganyika and central Africa with the sea, Dodoma is today a fairly quiet place, apart from when the legislature meets there. It makes a good base for visiting Tanzania’s ancient Kolo-Kondoa rock art sites, which lie north of Dodoma.

Uganda Map

Explore Uganda

Have a look and explore some of Uganda’s main attractions, cities and the country’s plentiful wildlife and national parks.

Kilwa

The small fishing village of Kilwa Masoko lies close to the remains of a once powerful Islamic trading centre called Kilwa Kiswani (‘Kilwa on the Island’) – see History & Politics. In medieval times, this was the seat of sultans and grew rich from the trade in gold and other African goods. Later, it became a trading port for slaves. The ruins at Kilwa are listed by UNESCO as a site of historical importance.

Kitulo National Park

This park was established to protect the flower-rich environment of the Kitulo Plateau. During the rainy season (December to March), the park becomes a profusion of colour. Flowers such as orchids, irises and geraniums carpet the ground. The other attraction of the area is Mount Mtwori, which at 2,961 metres, is southern Tanzania’s highest peak.

Development

‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Lake Tanganyika

At 670km, Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest lake. It is also one of the oldest, created around 9-12 million years ago. Its waters boast many unique fish, particularly among the colourful cichlids. The MV Leimba, an old steam ship, (see Zambia Tourism & Communications) travels down the lake and stops at various ports along the shoreline, including Mpulungu in Zambia and Kigoma in Tanzania.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent (at 5,895 metres) and sometimes called ‘the roof of Africa’. This huge volcanic massif rises up from the savannah plains and has snow caps at its peaks. Below there are ‘alpine’ condititions and lower down the slopes, heath, moorland and then montane forests. With over 140 mammal species and more than 170 species of bird, the whole of the Kilimanjaro National Park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Foods

Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Mozambique map

Explore Mozambique

Visitors to Mozambique often stay along the country’s coastline, which boasts some of the country’s key attractions. But you’ll see from the map there are also many places of interest inland.

Zanzibar

The Zanzibar archipelago is made up of two islands – Pemba and Zanzibar (or 'Unguja' in Swahili). A trading centre for centuries, the name 'Zanzibar' derives from Persian-Arabic traders who called it ‘Zinj el-Barr' or ‘land of the blacks’. Arab merchants set up here dealing goods such as spices. Later, the Portuguese arrived and began the lucrative slave trade. The ruling Islamic dynasty of Zanzibar became rich from the trade and built fine palaces and mansions. Today, visitors come to enjoy the unique and historic atmosphere of Zanzibar town, as well as diving and snorkelling along the island’s beaches.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Health

Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

History

The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is Africa’s second-largest freshwater lake, straddling the borders of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. While the lake is well-visited in Uganda, the Tanzanian side has been infrequently visited by tourists in the past. This is changing since an airport opened on the south shore (at Mwanza), giving safari tourists a starting-off point to the Serengeti. Elsewhere around the lake, life continues to follow very traditional patterns of fishing and small-scale farming. Commercial activities such as the growing of coffee and cotton are also increasing.

DR Congo Map

Explore DR Congo

Click the map points and find out more about some of the country's key towns, rivers and wildlife areas, many of which have National Park status.

Children

Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s largest unbroken caldera, a huge depression created by the collapse of a volcano. This can happen in a single huge eruption or gradually over time. Within its flat-bottomed 20km-diameter bowl (formed 2-3 million years ago), a vibrant wildlife community takes advantage of its streams and freshwater. An estimated 75,000 animals live here, including lions, elephants, hippo and rhino. The spectacular Olduvai Gorge is nearby, one of the most important sites for early human remains.

Kenya Map

Explore Kenya

Kenya is a popular tourist destination because of its many national parks and game reserves. Discover a little more about some of these.

The map also has a few of Kenya's key towns and cities. As well as being a hub for business, the capital Nairobi, has one of the largest slums in Africa, Kibera.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

Women

A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Tanzania mapKenya MapUganda MapRwanda mapMozambique mapMalawi mapZambia MapDR Congo MapKitulo National ParkSelous Game ReserveZanzibarMount KilimanjaroSerengeti National ParkLake VictoriaGombe Stream National ParkLake TanganyikaNgorongoro CraterDodomaKilwaDar es SalaamZanzibar